drees wrote:Now the question is: If you have an extension cord that has obviously been abused by wrapping over the elbow - is there a good way to help straighten it out? SImply untwisting it doesn't work. I'm guessing the previous owner (wasn't me, honest!) always wrapped the cord over their elbow in one direction...
I would love to know this, too. I have a 100 foot long cord on a reel and my son did something to the first 5-10 feet that caused it to be very twisted. I tried to untwist it manually without much success. The twisting is repeated at every 2 or 3 inches so it's pretty severe and it seems to form a memory on the twisted shape now.
Tried it out this morning with my 50ft. L6-20 extension. Took a couple of false starts, but I soon got the hang of it. It works so much better...but I was shocked at just how twisted the cord was already, and I've probably only coiled it up 10 times or so...and never over my elbow, but I guess it didn't really matter much. Hopefully if I stop twisting it, it will relax again over time.
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I have a better one for really long stuff. Contractors use this.
Use this technique for basic power cords, hoses, or rope. It's called braiding (technically it's more like crocheting but braiding is easier to say and spell ). The end result looks like a scary knot but it has a number of benefits: you can toss it around without it becoming undone, it does not create permanent twists in the cord, when you get good it is faster than coiling and the over-under method, and it comes apart very easily when you are ready for it without any knotting.
All that being said, I do not recommend this technique for data cables or anything delicate (fiber, coax, etc.) because it does create more stress than under-over. It's overkill for anything under 15 feet. If you try it, don' be discouraged if your first braids come out loose or messed up, and don't forget to "lock" it at the end. It takes practice to get it right like this guy below.
Disclaimer: not mine!
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GeekEV wrote:What about that pretzel (French braid?) style wrapping I see hanging on the back of so many commercial trucks? What's that called, how does it compare, and how do you do it?
It's the same "figure 8" method that NYC garment district workers use to wind yard goods (ribbon, elastics, webbing, cording, etc.) without twisting them. Also, the method creates a bundle that allows unwinding without twisting. The advantage of this method over the one in the vid posted by Ingineer is that this method also works for stuff with flat-ish cross section.
I tried to find a vid to illustrate this but couldn't. Maybe I'll make one...